Lost ‘Landie’ to star at Le­gends’ show

NZ4WD - - NEWS -

One half of the heroic duo of Land Rover 86” Sta­tion Wag­ons to com­plete the first ever over­land ex­pe­di­tion from Lon­don to Sin­ga­pore will ap­pear at the Land Rover Le­gends show in the UK this year. Part of the fa­mous Ox­ford & Cam­bridge Far East­ern Ex­pe­di­tion from Lon­don to Sin­ga­pore in 1955, the two Land Rovers were named ‘Ox­ford’ and ‘Cam­bridge’. ‘Cam­bridge’ was sold on its return to the Land Rover fac­tory in Lode Lane, Soli­hull, and even­tu­ally lost when it ran off the road in a sub­se­quent ex­pe­di­tion to the Mid­dle East. ‘Ox­ford,’ how­ever, con­tin­ues to serve as a loyal and hugely ca­pa­ble 4x4, and as re­cently as the great Bri­tish snow­fall of the win­ter jut past, was pho­tographed in ac­tion with owner Adam Ben­nett. The 1955 ex­pe­di­tion, led by six stu­dents from the Uni­ver­si­ties of Ox­ford and Cam­bridge, was a true ‘world first’, cap­tur­ing the imag­i­na­tion of an international au­di­ence thanks to three films com­mis­sioned by Sir David At­ten­bor­ough for the BBC. Apart from the English Chan­nel and the Bospho­rus, and some nec­es­sary river cross­ings along the way, the team of six and their trusted two Land Rover Sta­tion Wag­ons com­pleted the jour­ney from Lon­don to Sin­ga­pore over­land, be­com­ing the first ever to do so. First pub­lished in 1957 and since reprinted, the book First Over­land by ex­pe­di­tion mem­ber Tim Slessor is still on sale to­day. On its return to the UK fol­low­ing the 1955 ex­pe­di­tion, ‘Ox­ford’ was loaned to a Bri­tish Or­nithol­o­gists’ Union ex­pe­di­tion to As­cen­sion Is­land in the South At­lantic. Fol­low­ing com­ple­tion of this ex­pe­di­tion, the Land Rover was left with a lo­cal sup­port worker on the is­land, and he con­tin­ued to use the ve­hi­cle

for many years, be­fore re­plac­ing it with a later 88” and con­tin­u­ing to utilise ‘Ox­ford’ for parts. Even­tu­ally, he re­tired and took both ve­hi­cles back to his home on the is­land of Saint He­lena – fur­ther south in the At­lantic. There, the ve­hi­cles re­mained, un­til Bri­tish en­thu­si­ast Adam Ben­nett pur­sued a dream imag­ined by many a Land Rover en­thu­si­ast and, with the help of jour­nal­ist Peter Galilee, con­vinced the is­lan­der to return both ve­hi­cles to the UK in ex­change for a newer 300Tdi De­fender. Back in the UK, ‘Ox­ford’, thanks to its younger 88” parts ben­e­fi­ciary, was brought back to life by Ben­nett with a full and sym­pa­thetic restora­tion, pass­ing its MOT at the first at­tempt, and was even awarded its orig­i­nal reg­is­tra­tion of SNX 891 back by the DVLA. For a rare op­por­tu­nity to see this de­light­ful and thor­oughly well-trav­elled Land Rover, com­plete with orig­i­nal patina and bat­tle scars, and to hear the sto­ries of its ex­tra­or­di­nary life, repa­tri­a­tion and restora­tion from owner Adam Ben­nett, the Land Rover Le­gends event is on in the UK this May 26 and 27th.

Land Rover Le­gends

Land Rover Le­gends is a new for­mat Land Rover show – proudly show­cas­ing the icon in its 70th year, for con­nois­seurs, col­lec­tors, preser­va­tion­ists, re­stor­ers and en­thu­si­asts alike to en­joy and cel­e­brate. Or­gan­ised by His­toric Pro­mo­tions – a his­toric mo­tor­sport, mo­tor­ing, avi­a­tion and mil­i­tary events com­pany, founded in 2010 by Dun­can Wilt­shire and Richard Grafton – the show will take place at Bices­ter Her­itage. Once a WW2 RAF bomber sta­tion, Bices­ter Her­itage is now the UK’s only hub for his­toric mo­tor­ing ex­cel­lence, and with its build­ings and air­field, pro­vides a su­perb and unique set­ting. Re­cent His­toric Pro­mo­tions events in­clude Fly­wheel at Bices­ter Her­itage, the Don­ing­ton His­toric Fes­ti­val, the Dunsfold Col­lec­tion Land Rover Show and the Bournemouth Wheels Fes­ti­val. For more in­for­ma­tion please visit: www.lan­drover­legends.com.

New owner Adam Ben­nett with ‘Ox­ford.’

Ox­ford’ show­ing off new/old SNX 891 plate.

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